KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says that record hospital numbers would have been enough for him to enact a statewide mask mandate, but that decision is now up to the state legislature.

Officials reported a new record for hospitalizations in the commonwealth for the fifth straight day. More than 2,000 COVID patients are in Kentucky hospitals. Beshear said there are now 338 patients on ventilators, and that number was just 25 on July 14.

Dr. Dennis Beck from Deaconess Henderson Hospital spoke at Governor Beshear’s briefing on Thursday, and he urged people to get vaccinated.

Governor Beshear said he is deploying the National Guard to help COVID response efforts. He also said FEMA has approved EMS Strike Teams to help understaffed hospitals.